Fergal Crowley

General Accounting Specialist for the Netherlands, Accenture

Job General Accounting Specialist for the Netherlands
Employer Accenture ESC Ltd, Dublin
Education BA in Business Studies, Griffith College, Dublin (2004), Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) since 2008

I've always had a passion for working with figures. At college I found myself focusing on the accounting aspect of my course, so the next logical step was to pursue an accountancy qualification.

After attaining a Business Studies diploma at college I spent a summer in Boston before joining the accounting department of a multinational software company in Dublin. After a couple of years the travel bug bit again and I went to Australia for 12 months. When I returned to Dublin I joined Accenture and have been with them ever since. Initially I joined the UK general accounting team as an analyst. My primary responsibility was maintaining the fixed asset register, but it soon expanded to include banks, inter-company loans, foreign exchange analysis, global services and internal controls. During this time I gained my Business Studies degree by studying part time. I then spent six months as Internal Controls Specialist before joining the Netherlands general accounting team about a year ago.

My current role involves leading a team of two, for whom I provide performance reviews to my manager. I lead meetings with the local finance team in the Netherlands to discuss how the accounts are looking: large variances are discussed and balances explained. As a specialist, there are a range of issues that I need to look at on a regular basis, including inter-company dealings, client receivables, vendor payables, audit, severance, lease incentives, retained earnings and payroll work. At month- and year-end our deadlines can be very tight, but responding to pressure is part of the job and can really focus the mind.

Last year I spent three weeks working in Mumbai. My workload was intense but the local employees were friendly and hospitable, inviting me to their homes for traditional Indian meals. When they came over to Dublin I hopefully returned the favour by treating them to a traditional home-cooked Irish dinner!

Advice for graduates

Finance is a fantastic industry to get into. If you challenge yourself and work hard you get to meet and learn from individuals who are at the very top of their game. If you work for a multinational you will also have opportunities to see the world and experience new cultures.